Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Chestnut Street and Schuylkill Avenue Bridges

Philadelphia, PA

This multi-phased rehabilitation project consists of nine bridges encompassing the elevated platforms surrounding the historic 30th Street Post Office Building and the bridge network extending easterly on Chestnut Street over the Schuylkill River to 24th Street. The first phase of the project, SR 3010-PRR over Amtrak, was completed in September 2014.

Because the project area has undergone a significant urban renaissance—including a 2.7M-square-foot tower poised as the city’s first “vertical neighborhood” and other nearby commercial structure renovations—extensive stakeholder coordination and construction staging were key to the project’s successful design. The presence of three nearby railroads (SEPTA, CSX, and Amtrak – the latter including its third busiest rail hub in the nation, Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station) and several 100+ year-old structures presented additional challenges; many of these structures are considered contributing elements to a national register-listed historic district.

The overall design includes several streetscaping elements at the request of the City of Philadelphia: narrower roadway with widened sidewalks and improved trail access; buffered left side bike lane; refurbished ornate lighting; replaced navigation lighting; new pedestrian level lighting; and replacement bridge barriers and replica historic railings. Structural improvements include plate repairs and replacement of steel members, painting steel superstructures, new railroad protective fence and a trellis at the trailhead, masonry cleaning and repointing and internal strengthening of an arch structure over the CSX tracks.

The second phase of the project, SR 3-CH1, is currently under construction with an estimated completion date of November 2020.

Project highlights

  • Staged construction including a one-year partial detour
  • Stakeholder-requested improvements to several project elements
  • Extensive steel repairs on five bridges and complete masonry restoration on two masonry/brick arch structures